BURNING / PLASMA TABLES
Thermal cutting is used for the shape cutting of steels. Thermal or “burning” machines are probably one of the oldest forms of metal shape cutting short of the physical hammering/sawing/hacking methods. Either an Oxy-Fuel mix or the newer plasma technology is employed to burn/melt materials up to and even over 6” thick. This machining method is a thermal method and thus the material being cut must be susceptible to high temperatures.
The machine’s motion system is controlled via a computer controller or CNC, however, older machines utilized optical tracer eye and some even used physical template tracer methods. Machines can be configured with one or more of either Oxy/Fuel or plasma and can even include a combination of both methods for the most flexibility in shape cutting.
The two types of thermal cutting are Oxy/Fuel and Plasma with one sub category of “Hi-Definition” or “Fine Plasma.” Both processes are described in detail below.
Torches, much like a welder’s oxy/acetylene torch, are used to mix gases for high temperature cutting. These gases can be any flammable gas but are typically a mixture of propane to burn and oxygen to intensify. This method of thermal cutting is typically the most efficient shape cutting method, however it is much slower than plasma cutting and is typically of very little use on materials thinner than 1/2” – 3/8” due the high heat resulting in warpage of the material. Oxy/Fuel is best applied to steels 1/2” and thicker.
In the 1960’s scientists discovered that by increasing the speed of gases coming out of a small hole they could force a very high and direct thermal process called plasma. This process allowed parts that were thermally cut to now have almost saw-like finishes versus the older molten rough edges that Oxy Acetylene provided. The plasma torch is a specially designed torch that forces gases through an extremely small hole where a current of power is applied and thus the plasma process begins. Plasma requires large amounts of high pressure clean dry air and oxygen for the process to work correctly and the consumables to have an acceptable life. Plasma cutters are available in both hand-held and machine-mounted power supplies.
Typically plasma power sources are rated at ½ their amperage for the overall cutting capacity in steels. As an example: a 100 amp power supply is typically rated to both pierce and cut 1/2” thick of steel and can cut from an existing hole or part edge up to 5/8” – ¾.” Whereas a 200 amp plasma power source is rated to both pierce and cut up to 1” thick of steel continuously and can be used from a start hole at thicknesses up to 1-7/8.”
“Hi Definition / Fine Plasma”
In the 1990’s further development of electronics and the plasma process resulted in very finely tuned power sources and newer precise cutting torches. These systems are only found on machinery and are not available for handheld applications as to achieve the best results the stand – off distance and traverse speed must be greatly controlled. These power sources can provide the best surface finishes, part accuracies and detail but must be used in conjunction with an accurate machine to produce an accurate part.
Thermal processing requires a table to support the material and to absorb or ventilate the smoke and fumes from the cutting process. In most cases the table is not part of the initial system quoted and must be calculated for. There are several popular options for tables and they are described as follows:
This can be anything that is non-flammable that supports the weight of the workpiece. Metal sawhorses, pillars, etc. can all be used.
This is a table manufactured for the explicit use of thermal cutting and is typically fashioned high enough off of the floor to allow for the cleaning of slag and other molten material from underneath the table. This table provides no fume or smoke control method and is best suited for outdoor applications.
Applicable only to plasma cutting, this is best described as a water tank. This table is typically made of replaceable slats of steel supported on each edge of a tank filled with water. The material surface is typically below the water line which somewhat controls the smoke, dust, and fumes associated with plasma cutting. The water does cause some problems with the molten slag quickly cooling and re-adhering to the material as well as rust and cleanup problems.
This table is similar to the water table described above however instead of being filled with water the table or tank is exhausted by high capacity fans to pull the smoke and fumes from the cutting process down into the tank and ducted to either outside of the machining area or through a dust collector. This type of table can have ducted “zones” in the table which are controlled by the location of the cutting torch which improves the efficiency of the table greatly.
Materials Processed: Steel, Stainless Steels, Copper, Brass.
Popular Burning/Plasma Manufacturer’s: MG Messer, Esab, Advanced Cutting Systems, Koike Aronson, Multicam, Hypertherm, Plasma Cam, North American Cutting Systems, Torchmate.
Folders are machines used for the forming of sheet metal. Sometimes referred to as a “pan brake” or “finger brake,” folders can be manually controlled or computer controlled. Although all of the forming that these machines perform can be performed in a press brake, a folder makes the process much simpler for specific applications like panels, pans, trim molding etc. The typical application for a folder is limited to 10 gage ( 0.135” ) material or thinner and with folds (or bends) in only one direction much like one might envision a pan. Unlike a press brake, the folder supports all the material on the table of the machine and only the “flange” or material being bent is showing from the forming fingers. Typically flanges are less than 1.5” in height.
The folder clamps or pinches material between an upper or lower ram which often includes tooling called “fingers” to reach inside of parts with up-bent side flanges. Once clamped, a lower “beam” swings upward folding the material across the length of the machine or tooling. This process provides for the most accuracy in forming as any blank shape inaccuracy is formed into the first flange folded. The material is precisely gaged from a back gage located within or upon the support table. Although limited to thin gauge applications this process usually turns a press brake operation from a two-person operation to a one-person operation and will greatly increase the accuracy and speed of the part being formed.
Materials Processed: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper, Brass.
Popular Folding Machine Manufacturers: Cidan, Fasti, RAS, Roper Whitney.
An ironworker is best described as a universal metalworking machine capable of punching, notching, shearing, and forming a variety of materials from plate to rod stock to angle and channel materials. Because of their ease of use, extreme versatility and relatively low cost, ironworkers are one of the most basic necessities for any fabrication shop. There are many builders of ironworkers that manufacture these machines in various “tonnages.” Generally these machines are available in capacities from 30 to 250 tons and material thickness and punching capacity varies from manufacturer to manufacturer along with increases in tonnage.
Although in years past there were mechanically operated ironworkers, today you will find that all machines are hydraulically operated due to safety, tonnage, and simplicity.
Materials Processed: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Sheet Plastics, Copper, Brass.
Popular Ironworker Manufacturers: Baleigh, Buffalo, Edwards, Geka, Haco Atlantic, Piranha, Scotchman, Spartan, Unihydro.
LASER cutting is a relatively newer form of sheet metal shape cutting. Without a traditional “tool” the cuts can be very small and precise. This process also allows for part engraving or etching using lower power laser settings. Developed in the 1970’s for industrial applications, LASER (Light Amplification Stimulated by Emitted Radiation) became a standard for precision fabrication shops by the end of the 1990s. Using the laser as a heat source and with a shielding gas of typically oxygen or nitrogen, a laser machine literally burns or melts its way through materials as thick as 1-1/4” steel. Laser cutting can be used for simply shape cutting of flat sheets of materials or in a three dimensional configuration can be used for cutting of preformed pieces.
Because LASER is a heat source, this process may not be considered for very heat-sensitive applications or products that may cause hazardous fumes when cut by the laser. Also, because the LASER is a light source, highly reflective materials such as copper and brass are generally very undesirable to be machined by this method. This process is also somewhat limited in aluminum and stainless steels as their reflective rates are higher than that of steel.
Thus a LASER’s cutting capacity for aluminum is typically limited to approximately 1/3rd that of the machine’s capability for cutting steel, and approximately ½ of the machine’s overall steel-cutting capabilities for stainless steels.
LASER machines are available today in different size tables from 4′ X 4′ up to railed Gantry machines of 20′ wide by 60′ lengths or larger. The most common table sizes found in today’s shops are 4′ X 8′, 5′ X 10′ or 6′ X 12′ and are available as standalone systems or can be completely automated production cells. LASERS are also available in a series of different wattages of power also known as kilowatts or KW. Cutting capacity and speeds are typically increased by the use of higher wattages, however the use of higher wattages also increases both the investment cost of the machine as well as its hourly operational cost. Today machines are available in power ranges from 1,000 watts (1.0Kw) up to 6,000 watts (6.0 Kw).
LASER machines are available in two basic machine design types called hybrid or flying optics.
The term hybrid is used when a LASER machine moves the material or table in one direction and the laser focusing lens in the other. This design type utilizes less moving parts for the beam path delivery system and thus typically requires less maintenance while providing more and consistent cutting power at the LASER cutting head as there are less mirrors and focal lenses required.
The term flying optics is used to describe machines that do not move the material on the bed of the LASER, rather the LASER itself literally “flies” over the material. This design offers the highest rapid rates, acceleration and possible cutting speeds while being of a slightly more complex design.
Materials Processed: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Sheet Plastics and Wood.
Popular LASER Manufacturers: Amada, Cincinnati, Mazak, Mitsubishi, Trumpf, Bystronic, Han Kwang.
Notching machines are typically used for small lot cutting of handheld sheets of material. A typical notching application would be to relieve the four corners of a sheet of material in order to fold the sides up in order to make a box. Although notching tasks can be completed on most ironworkers, a dedicated notching machine will have a bigger blade, larger work surface, and be much easier to set up. Controlled either mechanically or hydraulically a notcher can have a fixed 90 degree blade or an adjustable angled blade to provide a multitude of specialty cuts.
Materials Processed: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Sheet Plastics, Copper and Brass.
Popular Notching Machinery Manufacturers: Euromac.
Plate rolls are utilized for the rolling of flat sheets of material typically steel or aluminum. Typical applications are the manufacturer of anything from cans to tanks, pipes, and other rounded metal pieces. Although plate rolls can be computer controlled they are typically purchased as a powered manual machine as material variations can require adjustments and operator finesse in order to achieve the desired results.
Plate rolls are designed to be able to roll a variety of material thicknesses and diameters however there are limitations due to the physical properties of the plate roll design and therefore these plate rolls are best suited for “ranges” of a users need. The limitations of the plate roll have to do with a combination of the roll diameters (the smaller the roll the tighter the diameter is that can be rolled, the larger the roll the less deflection is produced), the diameter being rolled and the workpiece thickness. All rolls will pinch the material between two rolls and by mechanical means force the workpiece material into an arc. Both ends of a turning roll must be securely supported to prevent the rolls from springing apart under pressure. One end of the roll is called the “drop end” as the roll support on that end can be released either manually, hydraulically or mechanically to remove the rolled cylinder from the top roll. Types of Plate Rolls:
The 2 roll style plate roll is typically used for high volume processing of thin metals (typically 16 gage and thinner) into small diameters (0.25”- 20” Diameter). The rolls are mounted in a vertical pattern with one roll being centered directly on top of the other. The forming roll (typically the lower of the two rolls) has a durable but flexible coating of neoprene or like material that the upper roll pushes into creating a depression and “waves” around the point of contact. The operator feeds the workpiece into this pinched position as the rolls are turning and the deflected rubber material forces the workpiece into a rolled form around the solid roll.
Advantages: Very fast rolling operation, Easy to automate, No flat on rolled shape
Disadvantages: Limited to thin materials, limited adjustment
Probably the most common type of plate roll found is the initial pinch. This type of material roller consists of 3 rolls with 2 of the rolls mounted directly vertical over one another with one being a fixed roll and the other adjustable. The last roll is offset on an adjustable slide that is controlled in a motion towards the “pinch” point of the two rolls. To operate this roll the operator inserts the workpiece material and adjusts the movable of the two vertical rolls until the workpiece is firmly “pinched” between the two rolls. Next the offset roll is positioned upwards towards the fixed roll forcing the workpiece to bend around the fixed roll. The rolls are then powered on and the rolling process begins with adjustment to the offset roll to reach the desired diameter.
Advantages: Very common roll. Easy to operate. Typically used in thin material applications (1/4” or less).
Disadvantages: Large flats are left on the end of the material. Adjustments are not exact and must be checked and rechecked during the rolling process. Material must be turned around or fed all the way through the machine to “pre-bend” the trailing edge of the workpiece.
This type of roll is commonly used for heavier plate applications. The top roll is fixed and the bottom two rolls are movable at an angle towards the top (fixed roll) or the bottom two rolls are fixed with the top roll movable. Material is fed in until it rests on the bottom two rolls. The rolls are then brought together with the top roll until the desired position is achieved to obtain the correct diameter at which time the rolling process begins.
Advantages: Very common roll. Easy to operate. Typically used in thick material applications (1/2” or more).
Disadvantages: Large flats are left on the end of the material. Adjustments are not exact and must be checked and rechecked during the rolling process. Material must be turned around to “pre-bend” the trailing edge of the workpiece. Material is never fully “pinched” between rolls and can slip. Material is fed in at an angle.
This type of plate roller is the only type where computer numerical control of the rolls makes a great deal of sense as this is the only plate roll that can easily roll oblongs or out-of-rounds shapes. This roll has two rolls centered vertically over one another and two movable rolls positioned directly on either side of the center or “pinch” rolls. These movable rolls are positionable at an angle from well below the material to where the centerline of the positioning rolls outside diameter can almost meet the pinch point of the “pinch” rolls.
In order to operate this machine the operator first positions the leading roll as a material stop, or gauge. The opposite roll is positioned where the diameter of the roll acts like a material support assisting in loading by allowing the material to be supported across the top diameter. The pinch rolls are opened and material is inserted and squared against the leading roll. The pinch rolls are then pressed together and the material is slightly retracted by rolling the pinch rolls backwards.
The leading roll that was positioned as the material gauge is then lowered to allow the leading edge of the workpiece to pass over it. As the rolling begins the leading roll that now forces the material up into the desired radius. Rolling continues until the trailing edge of the workpiece is close to passing the trailing role that was initially used as a support. The trailing roll now forces the trailing edge of the material up into the final position to achieve the proper diameter. If these rolls are controlled via numerical control the leading roll and the trailing roll can automatically adjust position and roll oblong, egg-shaped, or other non-round parts.
Advantages: Material is always firmly pinched, flats are minimized due to adjustment of both leading and trailing rolls. Can be used for almost all material thickness applications, material is fed into unit flat, machine can save a great deal of space as material does not need to be rotated around and fed in backwards to pre-bend the opposite end. Can roll non-round shapes.
Materials Processed: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Popular Plate Roll Manufacturers: Faccin, DAVI, Montgomery, Bertsch, Carrell, Eagle.
Press Brakes are utilized in the forming lengths of sheet metal components. A press brake is a vital necessity to most shops with shape cutting capabilities and is one of the most sought-after and misunderstood machines available for sheet metal working. Press brakes are rated generally by their pressing capacity, or tonnage, and their overall bending length or machine width such as 175X10 (175 tons of pressing force by 10′ of overall length). The press brake may be fitted with a wide variety of standard and custom tooling that are used to press the material into the desired form. There are two major types of press brakes available on the used market as are described below.
Mechanical Press Brakes
A motor spins a large flywheel at high speed the operator then engages a clutch which can be activated via pneumatic, hydraulic, or mechanical engagement. Once the clutch is engaged, the moving flywheel is mated to a crankshaft in which the machine’s ram is attached. The crankshaft then spins, cycling the ram up and down. The advantage to this type of press brake is that the machine is electronically simpler and, due to the crankshaft action, tonnages are generally 2-3X the rated capacity of the press brake at the bottom of the machine’s rated stroke.
A mechanical press brake is a good solution for punching applications as the shock of punching material is distributed much easier due to the machine’s design. The major disadvantage to mechanical press brakes is that the ram must complete a full cycle, or stroke, and typically cannot be reversed during operation. This poses some safety concerns and operational limitations as well as provides for the possibility that the press brake can be “locked” into an over-stroke situation where the ram has traveled too far into the die and the machine has flexed to its maximum and literally locked all movement.
Hydraulic Press Brakes
Hydraulic pressure is applied through one or more cylinders to force the ram of the machine down (on some models of Amada and Adira the hydraulics will force the bed up instead). Due to the hydraulic control of the machine the ram accuracy is more precisely controlled and adjusted for individual bend depths. Hydraulic machines can have one, two, or four hydraulic cylinders for operation.
A press brake, like any machine tool can benefit greatly from computerization of the axis of motion. In the early years of mechanical press brakes there was only one axis of motion, the ram. Today there are press brakes available on the market with 12 or more programmable axes for precision metal forming. A CNC controller can be misunderstood in press brake applications. Typically CNC is associated with high production numbers. In actuality the CNC control on a press brake can be an enormous time saver for simple applications of 2-3 bends or more on part lots of 1-2 pieces. The controllers today give the operator a graphical representation of the formed part in a simple-to-use format. By entering the material type, thickness, length and describing the bends and flange lengths the controller can set the positions and speeds of all the axes of the machine. This greatly reduces setup time, scrap rate and operator experience required for bending. The majority of controllable axes are found in the “backgage” which employs typically two or more “fingers,” which act as material stops and supports which allow for accurate gauging of flanges. Below is a listing and the description of the most common axis a press brake can control.
Y: Single-axis ram Mmotion up/down, typically a single cylinder hydraulic and all mechanical machines.
Y1/Y2: The ram’s cylinders are programmable on either side of the machine allowing for tilt or compensating for worn tooling in addition to the standard up/down motion
X: This is the backgauge or material stop which can be programmed to support the material directly perpendicular to the ram of the machine. The X-axis moves this gage towards or away from the ram of the machine adjusting for shallower or deeper flange lengths
X1/X2: Individually programmable backgauge “fingers” or stops with the same motion as described above. This would allow for complex part gaging and tapered flanges.
R: This is the axis that allows the backgauge to move up and down allowing for a part to be gaged that has a down formed flange.
R1/R2: The up and down movement of the backgauge fingers in cases where they are independent of each other. This optional axis allows for gaging of extremely complex parts.
Z: Positioning of the stops or “fingers” of the backgauge in the left to right axis of motion. This would best be utilized for stage bending (multiple press brake setups located or “staged” down the length of the press brake).
Z1/Z2: Individually positioned gage “fingers” from left to right. This optional axis of motion is best used when bending large pans or rectangular pieces that have a disproportionate width to length. By the independent movement of the gage fingers the width and length can both be gaged more accurately by opening/closing the distance the gage fingers are from each other.
Other Possible Controllable Press Brake Axis
Control or “pre-bending” of the bed of the machine to correct for worn tooling or flexing of the press brake frame under bending conditions.
Lifting supports for large sheets of material that act in unison with the downstroke of the press brake allowing for single operator operation of a press brake when bending large sheets of material.
Robotic loading, operation and unloading of the press brake.
Types of Bending
There are two categories of bending sheet metals. Below is detailed the two types along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Bottom bending is the simple operation of the tool, or punch mounted in the ram of the press brake forcing the workpiece down into the bottom of the die mounted on the bed of the press brake. The tool is typically forced slightly closer to the die than the material thickness of the workpiece being formed. This over bending action “coins” the material and uniformly “seats” the bend.
The advantage to this type of bending is that the accuracy of the bend angle lies solely in the tooling used (punch and die) and the press brake itself has little bearing on it.
The disadvantage to this type of bending is that the forces required to “coin” the material or 3-4X that of air-bending. Another disadvantage is that tooling must be purchased to match the angle and thickness of every bend desired.
When press brakes were first developed, the control of the ram’s depth was very difficult and it was simply easier to purchase accurate tooling and “force” the angle desired. Today fewer than 10% of fabrication facilities utilize this method of bending.
Air bending is simply pressing the material down into a die (of typically 85 degrees angle) only far enough to achieve the desired angle plus any spring-back that the material might have once the punch is retracted. The material is never pressed to the bottom of the die and thus leaves a small gap of air between the material an die bottom thus the name “Air Bending.” Overall this is the preferred method for bending in a press brake.
The advantage to this type of forming method is that the die need only be changed as material thickness changes so that any angle from flat to 90 degrees can be achieved with the same punch and die tooling combination. Typically the die opening or width is 8X that of the material thickness. Also this type of bending requires far less tonnage to achieve.
The disadvantage to this type of bending is that angle accuracy is greatly affected by the material thickness and the ram depth will have to be adjusted as material thicknesses change from mill run to mill run of sheet stock.
Selecting a Press Brake
The first important factor is to determine the maximum thickness and hardness of the hardest material that will be bent. If you bend 0.125” aluminum but also bend up to 10 gage stainless steel then use the tonnages required for stainless steel when selecting your press brake. Contact us to assist you in selecting the proper tonnage of press brake required for your application
The maximum part length that you wish to bend may require a press brake that is slightly bigger. This is due to the side frames of the machine that support both the bed and ram of the machine. Typically a 10′ capacity press brake has only 8′ clearance between the side frames. Although all manufacturer’s have a relief in the side frames this is typically only 4”, 6”, or 8” deep. If your application calls for a 10′ long piece to be formed with a 12” flange you may be best suited looking for a 12′ overall bed length in your press brake.
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper, and Brass.
Popular Press Brake Manufacturers: Accurpress, Amada, Chicago, Cincinnati, Ermak, Dries & Krupp, Durma, LVD, Niagara, Verson, Wysong.
Punch Presses (Presses)
Punch presses are used for metal stamping and forming which is a manufacturing method that can encompass punching, coining, bending and several ways of modifying the metal. Combining this machine process together with an automatic material feeding system a facility can produce a very high quantity of metal cut and formed parts. The press itself simply lifts and lowers the ram in repeated fashion in as little as one time per cycle to as many as hundreds of times per minute. At the heart of this manufacturing process is the tooling that cuts, bends, and forms the workpiece into the desired final part.
For complex shapes a “progressive die” can be utilized that has two or more progressions with each stage of the progression performing one or more operations until a finished part is made per the dies design. The final operation is a cut-off operation, which separates the finished part from the carrying web. The carrying web, along with metal that is punched away in previous operations, is considered scrap metal. And is typically deposited in a scrap bucket below or near the press.
There are many styles of punch presses available, each with a unique design and features to meet individual applications. Presses can be driven one of two ways as described below
Types of Presses
OBI, GAP, Straight Side Double Crank (SSDC), Deep Draw, Straight Side Single Crank (SSSC),
High Speed, Hydraulic, Kick Press, Knuckle Joint, Double Action.
Choosing The Right Press
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Plastics, Wood, Copper, Brass, Rubber and Vinyls.
Popular Punch Press Manufacturers
Bliss, Niagra, Bruderer.
Roll Forming Machines
Roll forming is a continuous bending operation in which sheet or strip metal is gradually formed in tandem sets of rollers until the desired cross-sectional configuration is obtained. Roll forming is ideal for producing parts with long lengths or in large quantities. Examples of roll-formed parts are rain gutters.
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Popular Roll Forming Manufacturers
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Popular Shear Manufacturers
Accurpress, Accurshear, Amada, Verson, Wysong.
Structural Fabrication Machinery
Structural fabrication machines cover a broad category of equipment generally or specifically used in the processing of structural steel components.
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Popular Fabrication Machinery Manufacturers:
Ficep, Peddinghause, Ocean Machinery.
Types of Tubing Machinery
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Popular Tubing Machinery Manufacturers
Eagle, Pines, Ercolina, Turret Punch.
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper and Brass.
Waterjet cutting has been a specialty technology used in a wide variety of industries from mining to food processing since about 1850. Around 1990, a high pressure water jet stream was mixed with an abrasive material and a new revolution in shape cutting was born, abrasive waterjet machining. This discovery of added abrasive to the high pressure jet stream literally grinds through any material it comes in contact with.
The jet stream acts like a bandsaw blade with the abrasive acting like the teeth on the blade. Over the next decade the process was honed into a precision cutting technology for not only sheet metal but literally any material at all. Waterjet can process many materials like steel, aluminum, plastics, wood, carpet, foam, tiles, stone and literally anything you can touch.
The ease of operation of a water jet cutting system also makes them very appealing to the novice and expert shops alike. Typically the only information required for a waterjet is the shape file in DXF format then the operator inputs the type, thickness and precision of cut desired. Because of the simplicity and flexibility there are now many companies replacing or complementing their existing methods of operation with water jet cutting methods as this is an accurate method for cutting that produces no hazardous fumes or waste and is NOT a thermal process so heat-sensitive parts like plastics are not damaged or destroyed in the machining process. Today waterjet technology is capable of producing cutting pressures in excess of 90,000 PSI (90kpsi).
Waterjets are defined by three major factors; table/travel size, pressure and horsepower. A typical waterjet system will have a table travel of 5′ X 10′ or 6′ X 12′ an operating pressure of 60,000 psi (60 kpsi) and a 30HP Intensifier to produce that pressure. Pump pressure and the volume of water produced at that pressure can have a major impact on not only the performance of the machine but also on the operating costs.
A pump operating at the pressure of 40 kpsi may be a few less dollars to run per hour but can literally take twice as long to cut the same part to the same quality as that very same machine operating at 60kpsi, thus doubling the manufacturing cost. In another example a pump producing 60kpsi at 30hp will produce 0.6 gallons per minute (or gpm) of pressurized water. The same machine operating at the same pressure (60 kpsi) but utilizing a 60hp pump will produce 1.2 gpm of pressurized cutting water which will allow the operator to increase the speeds of the very same part, to the very same tolerances by 40%.
There are two major pump types available for purchase or replacement on a water jet system. By far, intensifier pumps have been more popular due to the increased cutting speeds and reliability. Below is a description of the types of pumps available for straight water and abrasive water cutting applications.
Typically 3 plungers are driven by an electric (or gasoline/diesel) motor turning a crankshaft producing up to 55kpsi. The major advantages to this type of pump is that there is no cooling water required and the volume of high pressure water created is higher than that of an intensifier style pump. The disadvantages to this style is that the pressure gradually declines hourly from the moment the pump is turned on as the seals and internal pump components wear thus affecting cutting speed and finish. This pump also has more internal wear components requiring slightly higher maintenance downtime and cost.
In this pump an electric (or gasoline/diesel) motor produces hydraulic oil pressure of (typically) 3kpsi or greater. This pressurized oil is then transferred to a cylinder which drives a piston back and forth. The piston is connected to a plunger that is 20X smaller than the piston. High pressure seals separate the oil in the pistons chamber from the water in the plungers chamber. The different ratios in diameter between the piston and plunger create the effect of intensification and thus the 3kpsi of hydraulic oil pressure will create 60 kpsi of water pressure. The major advantages to this style of pump is that the pressure is greater and consistent, allowing for increased cutting speeds and reliable cutting surface finishes. The disadvantage is that this pump requires cooling water for the hydraulic oil and is slightly less electrically efficient.
Either type of high pressure pump can be employed to cut using straight water or abrasive water jet. Any abrasive waterjet machine can be utilized as a straight water machine simply by eliminating the abrasive mixture, however machines designed for straight water cutting operations may require significant modification to utilize abrasive machining methods. Typical applications for each are listed below:
Used for applications that can be cut with a knife or scissors such as food processing, paper, carpet, foam, fiberglass insulation, gaskets etc.
Abrasive Jet Machining
Metals, plastics, tile, stone, granites and any other materials that are not easily cut.
Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steels, Copper, Brass, Plastics, Foam, Gaskets, Insulation, Carpet, Glass, Tile, Stone, Wood, etc.
Popular Fabrication Machinery Manufacturers
Bystronic, Calypso, Esab, Flow, Omax, Jet Edge, Ward Jet, Hydra Jet, Romeo Engineering, Wardjet, KMT, Waterjet PRO.
Find the Machines You’re Looking For
KD Capital Equipment provides a variety of metalworking machines, including surface grinder, cutter grinder, and CNC milling machines, among many others. We have divided our machines into categories to make it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for. Simply click the links at the top of the page or dispersed throughout our product descriptions to see all of the machines we offer in each category.
Whether you need a surface grinder now or simply want to browse our CNC machines, you’ve come to the place with a great selection and low prices. Also, our customer service staff is friendly and knowledgeable and can answer any questions about machinery in general or about one of our specific machines. We work hard to make sure you find the products you need.
Whatever industry you work in, you’ll find that our selection of manufacturing machines contains everything you could possibly need. KD Capital Equipment is one of the oldest and most reputable sellers of CNC machinery, and we always provide our customers with great low prices.
For more information about KD Capital Equipment, LLC., please visit our home page. If you have any questions about our machines, call us toll free at 800-922-1674, or 480-922-1674 internationally.
For more information about KD Capital Equipment, LLC., Please visit our home page.
Please contact us with all your Boring Mills, Cylindrical Grinders, EDM’s Fabrication, Manual Machines, Plasma Cutters, Tool & Cutter Grinders and Water Jet Machinery.
KD Capital Equipment, LLC deals with a large number of Manufacturers
Brown & Sharp
Giddings & Lewis
Jones & Shipman
KMT Water Jet Systems
Warner & Swasey